Malcolm Miller, a guide and lecturer at France's renowned Chartres Cathedral for nearly 30 years and an authority on medieval iconography, will speak Sunday at St. Michael and All Angels Church in Corona del Mar.
Miller first went to Chartres' 13th-Century Gothic cathedral, south of Paris, as a student of French at England's University of Durham. He was supposed to stay a year and complete his final honors paper: "I did not go there with intention of staying there; naturally, at 20, 21, you don't know what you want to do with your life," Miller said in a telephone interview.
After finishing his studies, Miller spent his summers as a guide at the cathedral. "Although I did other things in my early years, like teaching, I always came back to Chartres," Miller said. "I never spent a year of my life without spending at least part of that year in Chartres."
From Easter to late November, Miller gives two public lectures daily, in English, at the cathedral. He has become a recognized authority on the iconography of Chartres--the complex stories told in the cathedral's famous stained-glass windows and facade sculptures. He has written three books on the cathedral, and in 1985 completed a six-part documentary for British television on medieval stained glass. The series begins airing in Great Britain in March, and Miller said he hopes that the shows will eventually air in the United States.